How much is the ability to work worth? The question is a common theme in workers’ compensation claims. A worker in New Britain who asserted that he would never work again after a workplace accident injured his back recently agreed to accept $325,000 from his employer and the employer’s insurer in full payment of workers’ compensation benefits for his permanent and total disability.

The worker was a manual laborer for a food service distribution company. He slipped and fell on the job in 2013. In 2014, he underwent a spinal fusion to alleviate back pain. At the workers’ compensation hearing in September, the worker’s lawyer argued that the residual pain from the fusion was permanent and prevented the man from ever working again. The employee’s expert said that the pain was work-related and that it was permanent. The employer offered expert testimony that came to the opposite conclusion.

While the case was being considered by the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, the parties continued to negotiate. The employer’s insurer initially offered $150,000 to settle all claims. The employee responded with a demand for $345,000. After the medical experts completed their testimony at the hearing, the employee increased his demand to $600,000. Negotiations continued and the parties eventually agreed to the sum of $325,000 to settle all aspects of the claim.

Negotiating a settlement of a workers’ compensation claim that involves a serious injury or an extended period of disability requires a lawyer who understands both the law and medicine applicable to the case, as well as one who is familiar with the amounts that insurers are willing to pay under certain circumstances. Anyone who has suffered a serious on-the-job injury or who has lost a loved one in such an accident can benefit from consulting a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer about the benefits that are payable under the state’s workers’ compensation system and the possibility of recovering additional damages from third parties whose fault contributed to the injury or death.

Source: Connecticut Law Tribune, “New Britain Man Gets $325,000 Settlement for Permanent Back Injury on the Job,” Robert Storace, Nov. 20, 2017